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Syringa vulgaris
Syringa vulgaris

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Zones A1-A3, 1-11, 14, 18-22, 32-45
Full SunPartial Sun
Full, Partial
Regular Water

Syringa vulgaris

Common Lilac
Deciduous, Shrubs


A garden staple in cold-winter regions, cherished for big, flamboyant, fragrant flower clusters at branch tips. Most lilacs bloom best in areas with decidedly chilly winters, but some perform quite well with only light winter chill.

Syringa vulgaris

 From eastern Europe. Can eventually reach 20 ft. tall, with nearly equal spread. Suckers strongly; prune out suckers on grafted plants (no need to do so on own-root plants.) Leaves to 5 in. long, roundish oval with pointed tips. Needs 2 to 5 years to bear flowers of full size and true color. Pinkish or bluish lavender flowers in clusters to 10 in. or longer (‘Alba’ has pure white flowers) in midspring. Fragrance is legendary; lilac fanciers say species and its older varieties are more fragrant than newer types. Superb cut flowers. In Zones 12-16, 18-22 the standard varieties bloom irregularly after mild winters; gradually discontinue watering near end of summer to force dormancy. Many hybrids available, including Descanso Hybrids, which excel in Zones 18-22 and the lower South.

'Blue Skies'

Descanso Hybrid with blue flowers.

'Burgundy Queen'

One of the French hybrids, which number in the hundreds. They generally flower a little later than the species and have larger clusters of single or double flowers in wide range of colors. Singles are often as showy as doubles, sometimes more so. This variety is an early-blooming one with single flowers in Red.


Descanso Hybrid with lavender flowers.

'Lavender Lady'

Best known Descanso Hybrid, with lavender flowers.

'President Lincoln'

Wedgwood blue colored flowers.


Wine red flowers with white picotee edge.

'Sylvan Beauty'

Descanso hybrid with rose lavender flowers.

'White Angel' ('Angel White')

Descanso Hybrid with white flowers.

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